How rescue dogs led me to grape jelly.

In February of 2014 we added a new member to our family. We realized our dear Raleigh would have a more joyful life if she had a little brother or sister to tag around with. We found “Fat Buddha” at DAWG, a local rescue that does a great job at placing dogs into new homes. Buddha arrived at DAWG with his sister Lola, and both were having a bit of trouble being placed due to medical and behavioral issues. We were able to adopt Buddha, but unfortunately we weren’t in the position to adopt two dogs. We visited Lola often, and took her on walks near the shelter. On one of our walks with her we discovered a large hedge with concord grapes! We stood there eating the grapes right off the vine, enjoying the floral sweetness. I vowed to go back the next summer and pick enough to make at least a couple small jars of jelly.

That brings us to yesterday…

Iwpid-20150811_120758.jpg was able to find a couple pounds of delicious grapes, and turn them into some wonderful jelly. First I rinsed off the few stray ants that were enjoying the sugary treats. I threw them in a pot with about a cup of water and boiled them for about 15 minutes. I then poured everything into a mesh strainer and let it drain while I was preparing the jars.

Back into the pot with the strained juice, as well as some sugar and fresh squeezed lemon. At this point you have to watch it, there is nothing scarier than hearing your jelly boil over onto your stove while you were away for a split second. Constant stirring and adjusting the heat can help you keep it at a rolling boil for the desired time to achieve the thickness you are looking for.wpid-2015-08-12-09.16.08.jpg.jpeg

From here on out it’s pretty easy. Fill the jars up, put the lids on, and process them in a boiling water bath for about 15 minutes .

Lola is happy and doing just fine in her new home. Raleigh and Buddha enjoy hanging out in the kitchen and waiting for things to fall on the floor. I tell them, “No grapes or grape jelly for dogs!” They are perfectly content with peanut butter.

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